Broken Distributor Shaft Tangs

  • EngineSpecialty
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5 days 22 hours ago #201901 by EngineSpecialty
Broken Distributor Shaft Tangs was created by EngineSpecialty
I have never seen this or even know where to look for help. I have a 1995 Honda Civic that started out with no spark. I did all the checks to trouble shoot the problem. Everything was fine accept for the coil was questionable. So got a new coil and still no spark. Car sat now for months because I gave up trying to figure it out. Two days ago I tackled it again. I found that when I removed the distributor that the two keys or tangs were broken on the distributor shaft that goes into the cam. I checked the cam after taking off valve cover and cranked the engine to take note of any problems with the cam. The cam is solid and not moving in any direction it is not supposed to. Removed the bearing cap to check the bearing for any signs of play or out of round. All good.
went and bought a new distributor and set the timing before install so as not to be 180 degrees out and installed. Cranked the engine and it did not want to fire. Rechecked for spark and had none.
after troubleshooting again for no spark I pulled the distributor again and the dang tangs were broken again.
I have never seen this happen or have heard of it. No place on the internet has it in search and nothing here at all either.
What is causing this? I don't think I can take the distributor back and out $211.00. I don't want to try again till I know what the cause is.

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  • nightflyr
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5 days 19 hours ago #201902 by nightflyr
Replied by nightflyr on topic Broken Distributor Shaft Tangs
The likelihood of 2 defective distributor shafts from 2 different eras causing the same issue are slim.
Doubtful it is a design fault being that amount of Honda's produced.
My thought is you have some type of mechanical issue where the distributor and cam mesh together that causes the tangs to shear off.
It could be that the distributor shaft is somehow binding up when installed causing the tangs to shear.
More detective work will be needed.
But you are correct you're most likely not going to be able to return the damaged distributor.
My suggestion:
Go to a scrape yard and get another distributor even a dead one.
Dismantle it so you have only the mating shaft and mounting housing.
Install it and bar the engine over by hand ( or have a friend help ) and check the shaft as you bar the engine over for anything odd.

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